50 years later, relatives and friends remember two 10-year-old boys who drowned in sump adjacent to Alfred Walker Park
Huntington Station – Family and friends gathered May 13 at the Town of Huntington’s Alfred Walker Park to dedicate a bench in memory of two 10-year-old boys who died exactly 50 years before when they drowned in a sump adjacent to the park.
According to news accounts at the time, on May 13, 1967, Count Ramon Edwards and Kevin Agudio either scaled the five-foot-high fence or went through an unhinged gate to get into the 40-foot-deep sump, which contained about eight feet of water. The boys apparently had used a four-foot-square construction pallet as a makeshift raft; one of the boys was found floating in the water and the other was found a few hours later in the mud at the bottom of the Suffolk County-owned sump.
A combined funeral service was held for the boys at Mt. Calvary Church, but, as was noted recently by one of their friends, Kevin Bailey, “many in the town, in particular, those like myself who were thought too young to attend the combined services, were not afforded closure. Add to that the fact there was no formal support systems yet in place in the schools or community, such as grief counseling. Many of us in our own way, are still grieving today.“
Bailey organized the day, which included a memorial service at the church, and helped formulate the idea of placing a bench at what was then called the 11th Street Park with a plaque in the boys’ memory. After the memorial service, family and friends went to the park for the dedication of the bench, which was donated by Councilwoman Tracey A. Edwards and her husband, Walter, who was a cousin of Count Ramon Edwards. Earlier in the week, the Town Board has voted to accept the donation of the bench.
In the photo: seated on the bench, l-r: Ernest Edwards, Count Ramon Edwards’ brother; event organizer Kevin Bailey; and Carlton Agudio, Kevin Agudio’s cousin. Councilwoman Tracey Edwards is standing behind the bench among other family and friends.